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Good eats/purveyors near Eglinton and Caledonia Rd?

Hey chowhounders,

I've just moved to the area of Eglinton and Caledonia road, and i'm looking for a bit of guidance. So far, I've discovered the local outpost of Caldense Bakery (fantastic marinated pork tenderloin sandwich and lovely custard tarts), a fabulous place for bread east of us on Eglinton (can't remember the name, but it actually seems to be some sort of sports bar in the evenings), Bologna Pastifico for pasta, and Camarra's for pizza (haven't made it there yet, but i'm looking forward to it). I've also stopped in at a bunch of the places along Eglinton near Oakwood for patties and jerk - great stuff, although i'm not necessarily convinced that Randy's Patties are the best in the city.

I'd love to hear chowhounders' thoughts on other tasty stuff in the neighbourhood. Specifically I'm looking for:
- a good butcher
- a place to buy fresh fruit and veg that's not the local No Frills or Price Chopper
- a place to buy more unusual dry goods (eg. grains like quinoia, millet, etc)
- Chinese delivery (in fact, recs for asian food of any description would be welcome)
- Indian
- Italian
- churrasco chicken (there are lots of places, but which one is the best?)
- any other hidden gems that the neighbourhood has to offer

Any ideas?

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  1. For Churrasco, there's a Costa Verde on Eglinton. I go to the one on Oakwood. The one on Oakwood is pretty good. It's been reported here that they use Franks hot sauce rather than their own concoction. I don't know, but their grilled chicken is as good or better than any I've tried in Toronto.

    If you are willing to drive to Lady York on Dufferin (near Bologna and Camarras), it's a good grocery store. Their butcher counter isn't bad and their fruit/veg is well stocked. There's a reputable fish shop next door. The Turkish place at Caledonia and Eglinton is supposed to be good. There is a California Sandwiches north of Eglinton on Dufferin. Rebozos is a Mexican taqueria on Rogers Rd that is as good as you'll find in Toronto. I think you will be challenged finding good Asian (South and East) food in the area other than Vietnamese. Please post if you find anything. Sky Ranch, the Argentine place at Dufferin and Roselawn might tickle your fancy.

    St Clair isn't too far for some more interesting stuff.

    Here's a bonus non-food recommendation. Drive down Caledonia between Rogers and St Clair for one of most brightly lit Christmas houses in Toronto. They do it every year, so come back next year if you can't get to it before they pull the lights down. It's something worth seeing.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mikeb

      Forgot to mention that as mentioned on this site before, Gelato Fresco's main plant is on Tyco between Dufferin and Caledonia. And Commisso Bakery is at Kincort and Castlefield. Plus Ace Bakery is nearby on Hafis Road at Sheffield.

      1. re: mikeb

        One more thing. Cheese. Alex Farms has a warehouse on Gilbert, south of Eglinton. I don't know whether you can just walk in, but you can always try.

        1. re: mikeb

          Mike, this is fantastic - I'm particularly psyched about Lady Yorke!

          I will report back on my quest for good asian eats in the area...on my travels today I did note a couple of Vietnamese places, as you mentioned - one called Banh Mi King, and another that was named...ummm...Pho something. I've also seen a couple of chinese places, so I'll do some poking around.

          P.S. I've seen the Christmas house...believe it or not, they actually had the decorations up this year at Thanksgiving, when we first went to view what would become our new house. It's absolutely original, I'll grant them that!

      2. re: mikeb

        The California Sandwich that mikeb mentioned has a great hot table. (I haven't come across any other locations with a hot table). The Columbus Center at Dufferin and Lawrence also has a hot table in their cafe. There's an Italian restaurant there too. I work in the area, so I'm always looking for good places for lunch .

      3. You have to go to Babos Donerpoint right at the corner of Caledonia and Eglinton. They have excellent shawarma, although with a Turkish twist--they're called 'doner'. Chicken and beef, with two sauces, garlic and sweet. Have both, with some hot sauce for a real treat.
        Also, Tinnell's patties at the corner of Eglinton and Kane, west of Caledonia, are excellent and give Randy's a run for the money.
        I'm working in the area, and do love Caldense Bakery for all their Portuguese baked goods.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Yongeman

          Went to Babos Donerpoint today for a mid-afternoon snack and had the chicken wrap. Fabulous - it had been a few minutes since anyone else had ordered the chicken shwarma, so the pieces that were shaved off were nicely crispy on the outside, but had a great, moist interior. The wrap 'shell' isn't a pita - it's more like a roti skin in terms of texture, and it's huge. I asked for everything on it, and got lettuce, cabbage, tomato and two sauces - a red one (i think that might be the sweet one?) and the white garlic sauce. I probably could have done with a bit less sauce, as it dripped out and made a happy, sticky mess of me, but I certainly couldn't complain that the sandwich was dry. :)

          The only thing that faked me out was that the hot sauce was green (I initially assumed that the red sauce was hot, and only realized i was wrong when the person who ordered after me asked for some hot sauce and was rewarded with something that looked like finely minced/mashed jalapenos).

          Overall, an extremely satisfying experience, and the portion was huge...which is why I've just started making dinner now at quarter to nine...

          1. re: wickalicious

            They have a website too

            http://geocities.com/babos_toronto/

            The oddest restaurant in the area is Thai Shan Inn. It's not odd just because they enjoy putting green and red peppers in almost every dish. They have plastic tablecloths on the tables. When you are done eating, the waitress scoops up the entire tablecloth and takes it away. Anything on the table goes with her into the kitchen--the dishes and whatever. (I haven't been there in at least a year so this may have changed).

          2. re: Yongeman

            Finally made it out to Babos tonight. We shared the beef doner plate and a beef borek. Both beefs were moist and very favourful. The portions are huge and the staff extremely friendly and helpful. It was quite busy but we didn't have to wait long despite 3 groups waiting for takeout and 2 other tables there. We'll definitely be dropping by more often now that it's warmer out (well kinda today!).

            There was a sign on Thai Shan Inn's window that they're moving to Dufferin (around 2400ish) sometime in the near future. Will try and check it out their current location before they go but at least the new place is not too far away if don't make it.

            Thanks for the tip about Doce Minho TorontoJo, we got our sugar fix for the walk home ;-) I'm hopeless with the names so I'm not even going to bother listing what we picked up!

          3. Definitely Comisso Bros on Kincort for great breads; and they offer a lovely variety of authentic Italian cold meats and cheeses. If you're ever gonna buy Panettone, they've got great pricing and selection this time of year. Another cool place is the Grande Cheese just in from the corner of Orfus & Dufferin, altho they've gone strictly cash now (no c/cards). Across the street from them is the Korean noodle house (ooops, name just went right outta my head...). M'self, I always find Camarra's crusts are a letdown, but I may well be in the minority. The next street east is Marlee; I'm told that Pasta Goodness is terrific. If you wanna treat yourself to a fine dinner, over at Eglinton & the Allen you have Il Mulino, Italian. A little further over you're at the Jerusalem resto; more family dining than fine, but I still think they make the best babaganouj in the city!

            1 Reply
            1. re: The Goddess

              I also think Commisso Bros. offer great Italian sandwiches - I've tried the veal, the meatball, and the sausage, and they were all great. I haven't been in a few years (it's a long drive from Richmond Hill for a sandwich), but when I lived downtown, they also piled on peppers, mushrooms, onions, etc. at no extra charge, unlike my local spots, where they charge an extra $0.50 for each different topping.

            2. On the east side of Dufferin, south of Eglinton is a great Portugese bakery/cafe. I think it's called Doce Miel, or something along those lines. There is a image of a bee on the sign. All the usual suspects: custard tarts, corn breads, pasteis bacalhao (cod cakes), shrimp rissoes, etc. Haven't tried the espressos, but they've got little tables to sit and enjoy a coffee and snack. Bonus is the big parking lot across the street, though it gets packed on weekends after church.

              1. Grande Cheese 22 Orfus Rd, (416)787-7670, has a huge selection of cheese, pasta and delicatessen. I would skip Katz, a bit further North, on Bathurst : fast service, unfriendly and not the best smoked meats by far.
                Lady York has a very good selection of Italian items (oils, vinegar, cookies, ready-made pizza dough, etc.) and the fish store next dor sells good quality fish.

                1. I agree about the Churrasco the best is from Costa Verde at 370 Oakwood Ave, its worth the drive as for the sauce, I seen pretty much all the portuguese places use Frank's as their base before mixing with their own spices, I have tried using Frank's on its in an it just won't taste the same, I actually saw them once prepare their chicken and they were putting a whole bunch of spices, I whish I could have taken some to figure out what they use. Either way Costa Verde on Oakwood is your best bet on Churrasco chicken they were rated as one of Toronto's best take out by Toronto Life Magazine

                  1. just thought i'd provide an update on my quest. :)

                    lady york is proving to be a great find - i found some great italian chicken sausages there (store made) which were really tasty, and i've had a really difficult time finding chicken/turkey sausage with this kind of spicing (tends to be more along the lines of sage and thyme, in my limited experience). also got some tasty italian home bakery 9 grain rolls on the weekend.

                    i've gone to the yorktown butcher shop a few times now - excellent ready-made jerk pork (although not as spicy as i'd like it). they also offered to cube some lean beef for me when i mentioned that i was going to be stewing it, which i thought was great. a few doors west of yorktown is a fruit and vegetable shop with gorgeous (and cheap!) fresh produce and lots of asian groceries. i picked up fruit and veggies for the whole week (broccoli, green beans, green peppers, green onions, cabbage, lettuce, cucumber and a 5 lb box of mandarins) for less than $12.

                    in terms of eating out, we went to sky ranch on saturday, which i described in this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/101264. the coles notes version - i thought it was great, very homey and comforting food.

                    i think we might try costa verde and a banh mi place on eglinton next weekend...the search continues! thanks to everybody who has thrown in their $0.02.

                    1. a couple more updates - went to grande cheese factory outlet today...cheese heaven! the fior de latte mozzarella is on for $5.69/lb right now, so there are several lovely mounds that have taken up residence in my fridge. i was astounded at the variety of italian cheese - and they had a number of other harder to find italian ingredients like carnaroli rice and 00 flour.

                      we tried the chicken from costa verde a month or so ago - i hate to be a naysayer, but the chicken was pretty dry, and not terribly warm...not my favourite. we had much better luck with lavrador barbecue that is on eglinton, just east of caledonia. both the grilled and the rotisserie chicken are moist and juicy, and they have fantastic loaves of crusty portuguese bread.

                      the banh mi place on eglinton, unfortunately, is now defunct. tinnell's caribbean foods (on eglinton, east of trethewey) had *fantastic* patties - the best i've tried in the city, and better than randy's, in my humble opinion. flaky, tender pastry and juicy filling with a good, warm spiciness from the allspice.

                      and i don't think i've ever had better jerk than the stuff at first class delites (weston rd at eglinton) - much spicier than most of the other places i've tried on eglinton.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: wickalicious

                        Wickalicious, I'm glad we agree on most of the places that you've tried. Don't forget Lady York Foods on Dufferin, a couple of blocks south of Lawrence. You can get excellent Italian groceries there.
                        Please try, what I consider to be, one of the best Italian sandwiches in TO, at Trezzano Bakery on the southwest corner of Dufferin and Wilson. Veal, chicken, meatball, and my favourite, homemade sausage sandwiches. Lots of other good food for eat in or takeout too.